How has buyer behaviour changed since coronavirus?

The coronavirus has been part of our daily lives for almost a year and has had a huge impact on our behaviour from; How we shop, what we shop for, who we meet, where we meet and delaying significant events like weddings and conferences. This has all had an impact on businesses across the UK.  Many workers have been forced to work from home, leaving the larger cities mostly empty.

Though it’s not all been doom and gloom, there have been some winners; which come from online businesses, delivery services and food retail shops and with local areas seeming to be fairing better with the shift from office workers now at home and popping out to their local shop, rather than a chain sandwich shop.

buying a restaurant
The Hospitality sector has had the challenge to constantly adapt to changing policy

This has changed what businesses buyers are most interested in, comparing the top ten most enquired to businesses in 2020 with their 2019 position.

Category% change (2019 vs 2020)
Convenience Stores130% increase
Off Licences222% increase
Cafes17% increase
Fish & Chip Shops57% increase
Public Houses21% increase
Post Offices92% Increase
Restaurants15% decrease
Newsagents80% increase
Investment Properties110% increase
Ecommerce/Website based retail77% increase 
Enquiries to business categories Sept 2019 Vs Sept 2020

The increases we have seen on mostly match what is being reported in the news and changes in Government policy. Shop workers were given a ’key workers’ status during the first wave of the pandemic, and food retail has seen a growth as shoppers are buying more and stocking up. Buyers have seen this as an opportunity to buy into a sector that is seeing growth and provides a vital goods service.

Another change has been the huge surge in enquiries to ’Off licences’. The national lockdown followed by local lockdowns, pub curfews and the government adding off licences to the list of essential businesses, has meant buying an off licence is more secure than buying other business types. 

The predictable change comes from the 77% increase in ecommerce/website-based retail, which has seen a huge shift of consumer spending online, leaving little surprise to the popularity of enquiries to this area.

The only decrease in the top ten most enquired to business categories is Restaurants, which have suffered with the 2-metre social distancing rule resulting in less covers and an anxious public keeping away. The government eat out to help out scheme managed to support many businesses during summer, but with winter fast approaching and not much renewed government support, it is likely to have caused some potential buyers to wait a little longer before enquiring, but still manages to maintain a top ten position of most enquiried to businesses on Daltons business.

The general census from reviewing the most enquired to businesses is buyer confidence is returning, having had time to adapt to a new era. The switch over to online has increased but parts of the high street are still in huge public demand, with some areas needed more than ever.

How has buyer behaviour changed since coronavirus?